It was a game that Bruff could have done without, perched in the gap between two important AIL games, but nevertheless the First XV made their way to Templeville Rd. for their first game ever against St. Mary’s Rugby Club on Saturday. While they came into this game with a 100% record in Templeville Rd., (it was the location of their first Division three final win two years ago) this time around the opposition was of an extremely different character, coming as it did from Division 1A and in the form of one of the oldest and most respected clubs in the country.
This turned out to be the definitive game of two halves.
Three minutes in St. Mary’s laid down their marker and were awarded a penalty which Gavin Dunne knocked against the vertical but the ensuing melee in front of the posts eventually allowed try number one for Mary’s.
It appeared that it was just going to be one of those days for Bruff, wave after wave of attack ground down the very under-strength Bruff side and the Mary’s lineout created the opportunity for the on form No. 10 Dunne to break the defence for try Number 2, converting himself for the extras to go 14 points ahead. Two more tries before the break with the only reply from Bruff being two good penalties from Brian Cahill meant that Bruff went into the break at the wrong end of a 34 points to 6 scoreline.
Whatever went on in the huddle at half time, the second half was a complete turnaround. Right from the off, Bruff decided that they weren’t going down without a fight and suddenly the pack took a stranglehold on the game. They found their strength and attack in the breakdown, completely dominated their opposition in the scrum, and after spending most of the opening quarter in the Mary’s 22, after the third attempt at a pushover try starting at eight meters out, Bruff were eventually awarded their first try of the day courtesy of the referees whistle when St. Mary’s were adjudged to have collapsed the scrum for the third time. A major change-around had taken place and with two more tries for each side (the Bruff ones coming from winger Patrick Thompson, one a really nice individual effort) the eventual 46 points to 27 point scoreline was well deserved against such strong and well respected opponents. Bruff have many positives to take from their first game against this old well respected club, not the least being the manner in which many of the squads newer players put up their hands and took up the challenge when their backs seemed to be against the wall.
Bruff: D. Horan, C. O’ Regan, S.Foster, R.Wall, M. O’ Connell, D. Gardiner, A. White, D. Keogh, Backs: P. Thompson, N. Riordan, A. Cashman, G. Leonard, J. Malone , B. Cahill, E. Maher.
Subs: K. Laffan (R. D. Horan), G. Bolger(R. Wall) , S.Daly (R. G.Leonard), P. Dempsey(A. White), A. Gahan (R. B.Cahill).
Scores: B. Cahill, 2 Pens, 3 Conv., 1 pen Try, P. Thompson 2 tries.
With the end of their run in the AIB cup for the season, this team could do with time to recuperate, however next weekend sees a return to more familiar territory and opposition in the form of Div. 2 rivals Old Crescent in an AIL local Derby in Rosbrien. All adult teams with the exception of t
he U21’s are out next weekend and they all play against Old Crescent.